REVIEW: Mumford & Sons do not disappoint audiences at the Patriot Center

REVIEW: Mumford & Sons performs "Timshel" at George Mason University's Patriot Center for two sold-out performances (photo by Helena Okolicsanyi).
REVIEW: Mumford & Sons performs "Timshel" at George Mason University's Patriot Center for two sold-out performances (photo by Helena Okolicsanyi).

Fresh off of their slew of Grammy wins, Mumford & Sons took residence at George Mason University’s Patriot Center for two back-to-back shows on Feb. 13 and 14.

Whether you’re a fan of their music or not, one thing is clear: Mumford & Sons can put on a great show. It would be hard to disagree with the thousands of people that packed into the Patriot Center.

Performances by the Los Angeles-based group Haim and British singer-songwriter Ben Howard opened the show. Surprising many audience members, these relatively unknown artists helped the crowd to get into the feel of one great night of music.

Opening with the title track of their second album “Babel,” Mumford & Sons did not disappoint their audience of eager fans. Performing a mix of songs from their first album “Sigh No More” and songs from their second album, Mumford & Sons made their performance both a party as well as an intimate concert experience more akin to smaller venues.

Decorated by a canopy of stringed lights, the Patriot Center was transformed, giving the audience the feel of being in attendance at a large wedding. With songs such as “Little Lion Man,” which brought Mumford & Sons to radios everywhere, the musicians had everyone singing along as Marcus Mumford moved around the stage.

Following their song “Below My Feet,” lead vocalist, guitarist and sometimes-drummer Marcus Mumford stepped up to the foot of the stage along with keyboardist Ben Lovett, banjo player Winston Marshall and upright bass player Ted Dwane to sing “Timshel” to a hushed crowd. Mirrored by stomp-your-feet songs such as the band’s newest single “I Will Wait” and “Roll Away Your Stone,” the show’s quiet moments felt as though you were discovering the group for the first time.

However, high-energy songs provided ample opportunities to sing and dance after the intimate moments.

In a world where popular artists are questioned for their musical authenticity and talent, Mumford & Sons presents a breath of fresh air. It’s debatable whether current artists on the radio have actual talent these days; however, despite Mumford & Sons’ success, their live performances are just that: live, raw talent.

At the end of their performance, the crowd cheered for more, bringing all four band members running to the other side of the Patriot Center.

Standing on a small stage in the middle of the floor, Marcus Mumford told the audience, “We’re going to ask to you to be quiet. We’re doing something special.” Surrounding a single mic, the group performed a four-part harmony encore of their songs “Reminder” and “Sister” as the venue filled with awed silence.

Returning to the main stage, the band played their song “The Cave” followed by an all group performance with Haim and Ben Howard who joined the stage for a rousing cover performance of “The Weight,” originally by The Band.

When listening to their albums one is aware of the true talent of the four band members, but it’s always questionable whether a live performance can live up to a high-quality album that you’ve been listening to for months on end.

Going to any concert is an experience in itself; you experience a euphoric rush afterward when you are blown away by such great talent. After this concert, it’s easy to say that Mumford & Sons is definitely no exception.

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